Friday, April 25, 2014

Low-Carb Recipe: Cheesy Bacon Cauliflower Smash

Mashed cauliflower with cheese & bacon
The following is Greg's recipe for a decadently delicious and sumptuously rich, low-carb alternative to "loaded" mashed potatoes.

Gloriously gooey, magnificently bacon-y, and zestily tangy-spicy with pickled jalapenos (or hotter peppers if you prefer), the last thing that will be on your mind as you dig in is that this hearty side dish is made with cauliflower. Yes, even cauliflower-haters will devour it!

Don't believe me? Try it yourself, and don't let anyone know the "secret" main ingredient.

By the way, you can use any kind of cheese you like, such as cheddar, Swiss, hoop cheese (which is what Greg used in the photo), mozzarella, Monterey jack, etc.

The quantities of the ingredients can also be adjusted to suit your preferences, and you can use other peppers or even pickled mixed vegetables such as giardiniera instead of the pickled jalapeno slices.

1 head cauliflower
1/2 cup shredded cheese (any you like, e.g., cheddar or hoop cheese)
1/2 stick butter, softened
4 strips of bacon
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup sliced pickled jalapenos*
Salt & Pepper to taste

sauteed onions and peppers with bacon
*For a hotter, spicier version, use chopped or sliced Ghost Peppers; for a milder version, use chopped or sliced Sport Peppers; for an Italian version, use Giardiniera (chopped or diced) and an Italian cheese such as mozzarella

Break up cauliflower into florets and boil or steam until very soft. Strain and set aside. Chop bacon, place in a large, deep saucepan or a Dutch oven and cook until done but not crispy. Add onion, garlic and jalapenos to the bacon and saute until soft and onion is turning golden (photo on right shows this as it's cooking).

Add the cooked cauliflower and butter, then mash everything together until as creamy or as lumpy as you want it (Greg prefers a lumpier, more interesting texture as shown in the photo at the top). Stir in the cheese and cook until cheese melts. Taste for balance and season with salt & pepper to taste. Serve hot. Makes approx. 4 to 6 servings.

Zestfully yours,

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